For as long as I can remember I have been a fan of the great game of baseball. I will admit that, growing up in Texas, I wasn’t a Rangers fan initially. Now before you go crazy and question my allegiance allow me to explain. See, my father was a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan and I was taught that football was the only sport that actually mattered. I discovered baseball when I was eight years old playing a pick-up game with friends at school one day. What an awesome sport! Then, during one summer, I asked my mother if I could play Little League ball. The first team I played for was the Cubs. My parents had cable at the time and one day, while getting bored with MTV and unsure of Boy George’s gender (I was a confused child), I flipped through channels and landed on WGN. There I witnessed my first professional baseball game. I saw the Chicago Cubs playing at Wrigley Field. Now, being an impressionable young kid I instantly thought that these Cubs were the big league versions of my team. It was soon thereafter that I discovered the Texas Rangers on my own and was in awe of the fact that they played in “my” town. While I am now a true Rangers fan I will always have a soft spot for the Cubs.
As I grew into adulthood I began dating as most of us do. The only problem was that the girls (women now) didn’t share my passion for the Texas Rangers, let alone the game of baseball. I also had another passion in my life at this time and that was with movies. When I was around 23 I took my love of writing and began studying to be a screen writer. Over the next decade I wrote and re-wrote several screenplays until I felt satisfied enough to take the next step. Starting in 2006 I began taking yearly trips to Hollywood so I could attend conventions and meet with several producers and agents. I even got to shake hands with Oliver Stone one year. Nonetheless the economics of Hollywood is a tough beast and it’s hard for an unknown writer to make it unless they live there or produce a short film of their own. Have you noticed how many sequels/prequels/remakes there are every year? It also didn’t help that the women I dated were never supportive of my writing ambitions. I was constantly told to give up and pursue a “real” career. That’s not something that a writer ever wants to hear.
Then, in 2008, I met her. She was beautiful. She had a great personality. I knew that I had to do something to make her mine. We talked and I learned that she liked sports with football being number one. That’s how her dad raised her. It sounded familiar to me. I informed her that I loved baseball and my Texas Rangers and that if we were going to date that she would be going to games with me. She loved my passion. It actually reminded me of Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore in “Fever Pitch”. What was even more amazing was that she loved that I had a writing for passion and she even read my screenplays. As we began our relationship she constantly encouraged me to write telling me to never give up.
We went to four straight opening day games together starting in 2009. Last year I submitted a piece to Yahoo! on my thoughts about the 2011 season. They liked it so much that I was asked to write a piece about opening day. Suddenly I was being paid to write. Soon thereafter I was given a beat assignment for the Texas Rangers as a Yahoo! Contributor. Two months later I was made a “Featured” contributor which meant more assignments and more money. She was behind me every step of the way, constantly reminding me how proud she was of me. And to top it off I made her a fan. We went to numerous games together, she bought several shirts, had her picture taken with Marlon Byrd and started listening to sports radio on a constant basis so she could be in the know. Oh, and she was no longer a football fan. It was so perfect. I had a beautiful woman that I adored with every part of my being and we shared baseball together. After we became engaged we discussed different places to get married and she was the one who suggested Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. What more could a guy want?
June 21st my world came crashing down on me. That’s when she left me. Now I’m not going to disclose why except to say that it was circumstances beyond my control. The only thing I had left was baseball. I struggled to start writing but had difficulties concentrating as I dealt with the biggest heartbreak of my life. I still watched the games but there was something missing. There was someone missing. Fortunately, though, my writing has led me to meet a great group of people. The writers here at Shutdown Inning have been there for me and some of my followers (the best on Twitter by the way) have also lent an ear.
And it’s funny how as I began packing today I had one of those “movie style” flashbacks as I sat there boxing up the books she bought me, the tickets for the games we went to and the numerous souvenirs and photo passes. I even had a sappy song playing in my head as I did it. We loved baseball together. It was so great and so perfect.
As I press on with my life I can only hope that the next person I meet can share the same passions as me. It will be hard to top what she meant but I do know that there are a ton of female baseball fans out there. Until then I will continue to watch and write about the greatest game ever invented and know that at least there’s one love that will never leave me.